PushStart mentor “speed dating” set to expand beyond Sydney
Tuesday, August 16, 2011/
Seed fund PushStart’s “speed dating” mentorship initiative is set to expand beyond Sydney to Melbourne and Brisbane later this year.
The second PushStart Mentor Live! Event takes place in Sydney’s CBD tonight, with 60 start-ups set to mingle with 25 mentors, including Saasu founder Marc Lehmann and tech entrepreneur and StartupSmart blogger Niki Scevak.
Each start-up, all in the web and tech space, has a 15 minute advice session with a mentor, with participants allowed up to three different sessions during the evening.
The event has been slightly revamped from the original incarnation, with a series of breaks put into the event and double the number of start-ups attending than previously.
Kim Heras, co-founder of PushStart, says that the funding and mentorship scheme had enjoyed strong support since it launched earlier this year.
“We’ve got more than 100 start-ups signed up to the mentorship program and it’s growing all of the time,” he says. “The great thing is that it has brought new people into the start-up community. People who would’ve been sitting by themselves are now meeting up with other people.”
Heras says that the concept will now be rolled out nationally, with events set to be held in Melbourne and Brisbane.
“We are committed to doing at least one event a month and the next date will 100% be in Melbourne,” he says. “We will go to Brisbane too. We’ve had people sign up from across Australia, so we will follow where the interest is. There’s been a good response in Melbourne.”
Start-ups needing longer-term mentoring than a speed date can sign up to the Mentor Connect program.
Heras says that an additional YCombinator-style accelerator program, which will offer funding of around $20,000 to start-ups, will launch “early next year”.